God, Time and HistoryPosted: March 9, 2007
I have been reading through a book called, Introduction to the History of Christianity, ed. Tim Dowley. I will be liseting several summaries over sections, and chapters dealing with the Acient Chruch History period of 90 A.D – 500 A.D.
Cicero, an early Roman writer said, “not to know what took place before you were born’ was ‘to remain forever a child”. This relates to one’s knowledge in life and knowledge of the spiritual journey. History in essence was one man, that man being God, and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Christianity is a religion based upon history; the early Christians bled and died for what we hold so freely, the gospel. The Gospel itself is dependent on history, for it was in the long ago that a Savior was born to alter history for the rest of time. In order to understand this concept it is important to bring to mind the quote by Herbert Luethy, “Consciousness of the past alone can make us understand the present.” In order for us to partake of the richness of this Christian journey we must look back in history to the Cross, and the glorious Resurrection and see what was done for our sinful souls.As mentioned before Christianity is based upon history and the events in history, but a trap that Christians have fallen into is picking and choosing which history had God’s divine fingerprint placed on it. They wonder if a holy and righteous God could be involved in events as ugly as The Holocaust, or the Black Death, but accept his wonderful blessings upon the Great Revival, or people’s lives like Mother Theresa. A holy man in history that knew too well of the good and bad times was Job. He tells his wife in chapter 2 verse 10, “…Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” He knew that looking back on history God was good, all the time. We do not know why God chooses to put certain parts of history in His plan, but many Christians need to come to the realization that we will know someday when we are with Christ. We may not know what God has planned but we do know that the Scriptures coincide with history or “tradition”. The word tradition has become a word with a negative connotation, leading to putting tradition over the Holy Bible. In reality in ancient times this word was, “regarded principally as an interpretation and unraveling of Scripture”. It has come to be that too many Protestants have embraced an unnecessarily negative attitude to tradition, and have failed to implement in their faith a study of the story of the church. It was stated that in one sense church history is the story of the struggle to keep, the Holy Spirit, the people of God and human organization together as one flowing part of history. Christianity does not need to fight against history but embrace the one who holds history in the palm of his hands.